Planting Wild Trees In Karnataka
Karnataka’s Bisle-Charmadi landscape provides the only link between the Kuduremukha Tiger Reserve in Chikkamagaluru and South Canara districts, and the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Kodagu district. Here, four wild species are the focus of Mud on Boots Project Leader Bhuvan’s conservation efforts. These species include the elusive Nilgiri marten, the small clawed otter, the endemic lion tailed macaque and the Malabar Pied Hornbill. With guidance from wildlife researchers Meghna Krishnadas and Sachin Sridhara, Bhuvan is working to restore and rewild this landscape.
Following several weeks of discussion with Meghna, Bhuvan has identified 39 indigenous plant species such as Tabernaemontana heyneana, Litsea stocksii, Holigarna grahamii that have high potential to be planted in degraded areas. Toward this end of initiating restoration, he has been visiting local nurseries and accompanied nursery staff on a session on restorative planting. As a community outreach initiative, Bhuvan is also utilising the Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojana scheme to encourage farmers to plant wild tree species around their farms. This state government scheme aims to increase the green cover in non-forest areas in Karnataka via the distribution of one crore wild seedlings every year. To encourage farmers to plant wild tree species, the scheme allows them to plant 400 saplings per hectare. It is further incentivised by paying farmers a small but increasing amount every year over three years, for each sapling that survives.
With Bhuvan’s support, three farmers have now been introduced to and adopted this scheme, and planted wild varieties of nutmeg and garcinia on their land. Over the next few months, Bhuvan hopes to inspire many more local farmers to adopt the scheme for the benefit of the region’s biodiversity and themselves.
The Mud on Boots Project is a Sanctuary programme that supports grassroots conservationists like Bhuvan across India. To know more, write to